"I miss Kobe every single day" - Kyrie Irving reflects on losing Kobe Bryant as a mentor

Kyrie Irving reflected on losing Kobe Bryant as a mentor [Photo Credit: Kyrie Irving and Kobe Bryant
Kyrie Irving reflected on losing Kobe Bryant as a mentor [Photo Credit: Kyrie Irving and Kobe Bryant's IG Handle]

Kyrie Irving is in the NBA Finals again, and what better way for him to mark the moment than to remember his mentor Kobe Bryant? The Dallas Mavericks star was asked about the impact Bryant had on him, and Irving went at length to speak about the LA Lakers legend.

The 2016 NBA champion said losing Bryant in January 2020 was difficult.

“I don't know if anyone in here has ever lost a mentor or lost someone that's a little bit older than them, meant something to them,” Irving said. “Even if you guys don't talk every day, there was still that connection that they were always gonna be there for you.
"It wasn't just him, it was his family as well. They supported me unconditionally. I miss him every single day alongside the rest of the world and all the Kobe supporters around the world.”

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It was in 2012 when Team USA was preparing for the London Olympics, that Kyrie Irving met Kobe for the first time. He was called into a practice squad to help Team USA practice. This was also the time Irving told Bryant that he would beat him in a one-on-one game and went for a $50,000 challenge. The video had gone viral on the internet.

Right after winning the NBA title in 2016, Irving FaceTimed Bryant to let him know he had done it. Later on, Irving reflected on knowing how hard it was to win a championship while Bryant had five, his respect for the five-time champions had grown.

Since then, both developed a deeper connection. Even when Iriving was struggling with his cast in Boston, Bryant stepped up and asked Irving to connect with his young teammates.

Kyrie Irving reveals Kobe Bryant’s teachings for the Mavs star

Kobe Bryant was a teacher who had embodied his every teaching throughout his life. His Mamba Mentality taught one to be the best version of themselves. Bryant approached his life with the same mantra. However, according to Kyrie Irving, there was something more that Bryant was trying to teach the younger generation.

“He knew what his power was," Irving said. "He knew what his superpowers were. And they weren't on the court every time. … I think his life lesson has transcended basketball or any sport or any entertainment business. … That's what I felt like he was teaching me, to be able to carry the torch and also know how to pass it along.”

Ahead of the NBA Finals against the Celtics, Kyrie Irving also said that he wants to win multiple titles before he retires and be counted among the greats like Kobe.

Bryant's death in a helicopter crash sent shockwaves throughout the world. He has been an inspiration to so many stars in the league like Irving, DeMar DeRozan, Jayson Tatum and Kawhi Leonard.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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